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12 Digital Transformation Trends & Use Cases in Education in '24

Written by
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in education as nearly 1.5 billion students across the world became distanced from their classrooms. However, online education is not the only way digital technologies transform the teaching and learning experience. We explore how digital transformation affects the education sector with key technologies and trends.

What does digital transformation mean for education?

Digital transformation in education means digitalizing processes and products to improve the teaching and learning experience for everyone involved.

Digital transformation in education focuses on:

  • Accessibility: Digital technologies enable learners (e.g. students, employees) to access learning resources more easily and less expensively than traditional education. People across the world, from all ages, with different socioeconomic statuses have access to classes and resources through the internet. Technologies such as text-to-speech remove the barriers for students with disabilities.
  • Increased engagement:
    • Interactive learning: Micro lessons, videos, interactive tests, gamification, etc. are all different learning formats that are transforming education with a more interactive learning environment. For example, interactive language teaching apps like Duolingo claim to reach more US learners interested in foreign languages than the school system.
    • Customized learning: Computer technology and AI enable educational methods such as adaptive learning where each learner is allowed to learn in a way appropriate to them.

Why is digital transformation in education important now?

School shutdowns and distance education are some of the most profound effects of COVID-19 which has demonstrated the importance and urgency of incorporating digital technologies into education. Even before the pandemic, the education industry was in the process of digital transformation. The image below from research by HolonIQ shows that global EdTech (education technology) venture capital funding had increased from $500 million to $7 billion between 2010 and 2019. The effect of the pandemic is also staggering as the investments almost tripled in 2021.

EdTech venture capital funding had significantly increased, highlighting the trend of digital transformation in education
Source: HolonIQ

1- Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence applications can undertake simple but time-consuming tasks in education to ease the workload of educators or school staff. They can also be used to deliver an improved and custom learning experience to students. The applications include:

Improving student performance

  • Voice-to-text technologies transforming classes to notes are helpful to students with hearing impairment
  • Text-to-voice technologies help dyslexic students learn more effectively by listening instead of reading.
  • Personalized learning can involve a diverse set of technologies including AI to elicit how a student learns best and tailor the education accordingly. Blended and adaptive learning are examples of methods that combine face-to-face instruction with digital learning tools that encourage students to learn by discovery.

Increasing the effectiveness of staff

  • Intelligent FAQ chatbots to answer questions about class, homework, campus, etc. Chatbots can act as virtual advisors for college students which can free up professors’ time.
  • Domain specific chatbots: College admission is a complex and stressful process for high school students. College counsellors have limited time to support hundreds of students. Chatbots focused on the admission process can support students in this challenging and important process
  • Educational businesses also have back office functions like finance. Process mining can help identify inefficiencies in the back office functions. Read our article on educational process mining to learn more about the applications of process mining in education.
  • Individual automation technologies like RPA or combining multiple automation technologies (also called hyperautomation) can help save the time of support staff.

Explore the top 20 use cases of RPA in education in more detail.

2- Analytics

Digital technologies enable schools to collect and analyze a wealth of data about their students to monitor and enhance their performance. Using traditional and advanced analytics, they can determine where students struggle and succeed, develop new methods, and test whether these methods yield expected results.

3- Augmented reality/Virtual reality

Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies can create interactive and virtual environments for students and help them better engage with the subject. These technologies can enable virtual field trips to historical locations or facilitate learning-by-doing for applied sciences and medicine. The distance learning experience can also be improved with AR/VR technologies.

4- Internet of Things (IoT)

The increasing use of smartphones and other edge devices improves the connectivity between students and their educational institutions by enabling real-time communication and data transfer. IoT devices can also be used to track young children’s absence or presence in class and alert teachers and parents for their security.

5- Online learning

Distance learning (or remote learning) through Zoom or Skype was an emergency response from schools and colleges to the pandemic. Educational institutions can also build their own online class systems, commonly called learning management systems (LMS), and integrate them into their websites or platforms. This will allow them to customize the online learning experience according to the needs of learners or the subject of the course.

6- Smart classes

Digital technologies have also improved face-to-face learning. Smart classes equipped with smart boards, computers, internet connections, projectors, etc. unlock the ways of delivering learning resources to students that were impossible with a blackboard and chalks.

What are some case studies?

  • Google Expedition is an education app that contains 1000 VR and 100 AR tours. It helps teachers and students to explore art galleries, museums, underwater, or outer space. Google is now sunsetting the Expedition app and migrating the tours to Google Arts & Culture and making it available to everyone.
  • Arizona State University has leveraged Amazon Echo Dot devices in their campus and student resident halls as voice assistants that provide information about the university for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • EdTech company Carnegie Learning provides technology solutions to K-12 schools. Their math learning platform MATHia uses artificial intelligence to act as a personal tutor that adjusts itself continually to each student and delivers a personalized learning experience.

How can educational institutions transform digitally?

We outlined the steps to achieve digital transformation and AI transformation. These steps are similar across industries. These involve understanding the challenges of your business and buying or building solutions to resolve these challenges. When it comes to building custom solutions, working with agencies that have done it before can help.

For more on digital transformation:

You can also check our data-driven, sortable/filterable list of digital transformation consultant companies.

If you have more questions about digital transformation or digital education, let us know:

Find the Right Vendors
Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Sources: Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience, Similarweb.
Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics, Business Insider.
Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
Data management barriers to AI success, Deloitte.
Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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